A true food lover’s restaurant
Located at the top of Leeds city centre, adjacent to the Merrion center, you will find this new funky high-end eatery. It’s great for pre and post-arena drinks and dining. After a gourmet meal, you can easily walk into the centre of Leeds to boogie the night away.
Let’s talk about Arnold’s the restaurant. It is where Marco Pierre White’s restaurant was; however, that is the only similarity. The interior is in a league of its own. You can instantly tell high-end designers have been employed. The teal walls and staggeringly beautiful wallpaper make for a very unique interior décor. It oozes class and sophistication, with a good touch of modern-contemporary. The private dining is lovely; with soundproof, almost bi-folding doors that separate it from the rest of the restaurant. I believe you can have private dining from eight up to about 24 people. We recently had private dining at another restaurant and it felt very special.
The bar area, which is separate and around a corner, is a great place for either pre-dinner drinks or pre- or post-show drinks. It does attract a few hotel guests which I think is wrong, but I guess it’s all about the revenue and I suppose it does add to the overall atmosphere; I’m just grumpy and like it quiet.
The restaurant itself hosts around 60 covers, with no table on top of another. You can have a decent conversation without being overheard. There are enough well thought-out soft furnishings around to dampen any reverb from other guests – as I said earlier; you can tell everything has been well considered. The flat cap art on the wall is a great touch.
Steve, who used to own Brasserie Forty4 on The Calls, is the man who runs Arnold’s now, along with his son and a few other key members of his old staff. Steve is a prince amongst men. He knows the industry like the back of his hand and indeed half of the Leeds long-time diners. It’s great to see him back. He sat with us whilst we chatted about old times, making for a great night.
The food served here is very similar to what used to be Forty4, which I was very pleased about. We had pork spring roll, £7.50, which was mouth-wateringly delicious. I honestly could have just had five more and nothing else. The other starter was oxtail risotto, £7.95 – again superb. For mains we had venison haunch, £18.95; this was cooked rare and had a good chew to it. I was a venison haunch virgin. It was one of those dishes I wish I had tried before. Very lovely. My wife had pork tenderloin, £15.95, which came with pea risotto – oh boy, another success! The mains do require sides at £3.25 – the cauliflower cheese was possibly the best I have ever had.
For pudding we had Steve’s famous chocolate fondue with fruit and marshmallow, £6.50 – a rare decadent treat. As I ate the fondue, I felt my hips getting bigger but just couldn’t stop …
Things to note about Arnolds are; it has a gluten free menu, an early bird menu, a wine list to die for and daily specials. It opens for both lunch and dinner, and is available for single bookings to large party corporate bookings. It also offers a small plate menu, ideal for the person that can’t decide but wants it all. I think I am that person.
Arnold’s is an exciting new restaurant offering high-end fayre with great established waitrons and superb interior decor, with food to rival the very best. Oh and it had five stars on Google.
Wade Lane, Leeds, LS2 8NJ
T: 0113 831 4531